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Nearly 70 years ago, doctors at Henry Ford Health System helped develop the medical specialty of vascular surgery. Experts at the Heart & Vascular Institute continue this tradition, delivering innovative treatments that protect your health and improve your quality of life.
What is vascular surgery?
Vascular surgeons offer a wide range of treatments for diseases affecting blood vessels. They care for all veins and arteries, other than those that sit in the brain or supply the heart with blood.
Henry Ford’s vascular surgeons do much more than just surgery. We provide comprehensive care, starting when you first come to us with symptoms. Our care includes:
- Diagnosis of vascular disease and related conditions, including testing
- Medications to manage symptoms and treat issues contributing to vascular disease
- Minimally invasive procedures
- Open surgery
- Ongoing monitoring of your health
Introducing a new hybrid OR at Henry Ford Hospital that includes technology that improves image quality, while decreasing radiation exposure. Allowing our Vascular Surgeons to quickly, easily, and simply treat very complex blood vessel cases everywhere in the body, except the heart and the brain.
Vascular surgery: Why choose Henry Ford?
At Henry Ford, our vascular surgeons help develop new ways to diagnose and treat vascular disease, giving you access to the latest innovations. We focus on your individual needs, considering all options, including creative solutions. We find effective treatment that lasts as long as possible.
When you come to us for care, you’ll find:
- Legacy of firsts: Our vascular surgeons are pioneers in innovative treatments and the right time to use them. We were the first in Michigan to perform minimally invasive aortic repair and continue to expand its use. Our team’s studies look at the best ways to begin treatment – whether with medications or procedures – for the best possible results.
- Top care for all forms of vascular disease: Our vascular surgeons treat the full range of diseases affecting blood vessels, including uncommon conditions. We’re one of the few centers in Michigan offering both minimally invasive procedures and open surgeries, for the most complex conditions. If you develop complications from treatment you received elsewhere – or if you’ve been told that treatment isn’t an option – we can help.
- Advanced testing: Henry Ford vascular surgeons founded our vascular testing labs in 1977 and continue to lead them today. Our certified vascular technologists specialize in complex imaging for diagnosis and long-term monitoring of your health. Learn more about vascular testing in our nationally accredited vascular labs.
- Nationally known vein center: Henry Ford is home to the only comprehensive program in southeast and south central Michigan dedicated to vein disease. Our vascular surgeons help provide advanced care for a wide range of conditions, including those that are uncommon or complex. Learn more about the Vein Center.
Vascular surgery at Henry Ford
Our vascular surgery program dates back to 1952, when doctors at Henry Ford performed one of the world’s first aortic aneurysm repairs. Years later, our team of experts helped develop emerging treatments such as using manmade materials to reinforce weakened arteries.
Our vascular surgeons carefully evaluate your health and then recommend treatment options that best address your specific needs. With minimally invasive, open and hybrid approaches, we expertly treat conditions affecting your arteries and veins.
Minimally invasive procedures for vascular disease
Minimally invasive procedures require only needle punctures or small incisions to reach treatment areas. Our vascular surgeons have advanced training and extensive experience in these procedures, allowing them to successfully treat a wide variety of conditions.
We specialize in endovascular procedures, using catheters (thin, flexible tubes) to provide treatment inside blood vessels. We specialize in endovascular procedures such as:
- Angioplasty to open narrowed or blocked vessels, sometimes placing a tiny, metal-mesh tube (stent) to help keep vessels open
- Atherectomy to remove the buildup of cholesterol and other fatty substances from arteries
- Placement of stent grafts (fabric-covered, metal-mesh tubes) to repair or replace diseased sections of the aorta
- Thrombolysis, or thrombolytic therapy, to deliver clot-dissolving medication to blood clots
Benefits of endovascular procedures
Endovascular treatment provides an option for people who are too sick for open surgery or those who prefer to avoid it. Some of the benefits, compared with open surgery, include:
- Less blood loss during treatment
- Less pain afterward
- Shorter hospital stay, or none at all
- Faster recovery
Open surgery for vascular disease
Our vascular surgeons also have expertise with open surgery, which many centers no longer offer for vascular disease treatment. An open procedure can be the best option for:
- Areas with complex anatomy, such as the aortic arch, a curved section of the aorta near the heart
- Conditions that require several endovascular procedures versus just one open surgery
- Vascular disease complicated by infections
- People with connective tissue disorders
- Younger people who want to avoid long-term monitoring and possible complications of repeat testing
Hybrid procedures for vascular disease
Our vascular surgeons sometimes combine minimally invasive and open approaches to treat complex conditions. One example of these hybrid procedures is transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) to open narrowed or blocked carotid arteries, which supply blood to the brain. Vascular surgery: Conditions we treat
Our vascular surgeons deliver lifesaving treatments for even the most complex forms and advanced stages of vascular disease. Conditions we treat include:
- Aortic disease: Our vascular surgeons were the first in Michigan to perform endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR). They were also among the first to complete fenestrated EVAR, a more advanced form. In the Multidisciplinary Aorta Program, our surgeons lead the field in complex aortic repairs for aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections. Using the latest stent grafts, our team treats sections of the aorta that are difficult to access.
- Carotid artery disease: Our vascular surgeons are among the few teams in the country trained in TCAR, a hybrid procedure for carotid artery disease. The procedure briefly reverses blood flow in the carotid artery receiving treatment, reducing the risk of stroke.
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD): Our vascular surgeons provide treatments that keep you safe from serious complications of peripheral artery disease. Our team has years of experience with angioplasty and bypass to restore blood flow to your arms and legs.
- Deep vein and valve damage: Our skilled surgeons restore blood flow in damaged veins and valves deep in the legs. They have experience with both minimally invasive procedures and open surgery to do so. Learn more about deep vein thrombosis and chronic venous insufficiency.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome: Our vascular surgeons treat the arterial and venous forms of thoracic outlet syndrome. We work with colleagues in neurosurgery to coordinate your care for neurogenic (neurological) thoracic outlet syndrome.
- Varicose veins: Whether you want to improve your appearance or relieve pain from bulging and twisted veins, we can help. Our vascular experts provide advanced diagnosis and treatment for these varicose veins.
Partnership with other specialties
As vascular surgeons, we provide care for blood vessels throughout the body, with the exception of those that sit in the brain or supply the heart. Our surgeons often handle diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care by themselves, but sometimes work with other doctors in special cases.
Our partnerships include:
- Aortic program: Our Multidisciplinary Aorta Program is one of only two in southeast and south central Michigan dedicated to treating aortic disease. The program brings together vascular surgeons, vascular medicine specialists, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to manage all types of aortic conditions.
- Carotid conferences: Our experts in carotid artery disease meet each week to discuss people with difficult-to-treat vascular disease that affects the brain. The team includes vascular surgeons, neurosurgeons, interventional radiologists, vascular neurologists and stroke specialists.
- Hybrid procedures: Our vascular and cardiac surgeons work together to treat disease in the upper (thoracic) aorta, which has complex anatomy. Partnering in these procedures ensures that you receive the best possible care for disease in this intricate area.
Fellowship training for vascular disease
At Henry Ford, we established the world’s first vascular surgery fellowship in the 1960s. Our vascular surgeons have been training the next generation of specialists for more than 50 years. Our fellows actively participate in your care under the close supervision of more experienced surgeons.